Footnotes #424

The official release of WordPress 5.6 is just days away — December 8, 2020. Until then, you are encouraged to test Release Candidate 3, which is now available. 📦


Gutenberg 9.5 has been released, with a focus on full-site editing and global styles. As Nik Tsekouras explains, fonts are now supported in the Code Block, and the full height alignment control is available in more blocks. ⬆️

If you are interested in what's coming up this month in Gutenberg, Anne McCarthy will catch you up on the highlights: Full Site Editing (Milestone 1), Global Styles, and the Widget Screen whose development was mostly paused in November. ✨


Kjell Reigstad over at ThemeShaper shows how to build a single-page block-based theme. He describes the experience positively:

“This exercise made me truly excited about the future of theming. It took very little time to assemble the boilerplate necessary to get started, and I constructed most of the theme the editor itself. I imagine whole process will only get faster (and the boilerplate will be whittled down further) as full-site editing progresses.”

If you haven't read Kjell's thoughts in an earlier post about Seedlet, I would suggest you take a look at that too. Seedlet is a typography-led theme “built for the future of block-based theming.” Kjell has put together a child theme that maps many of Seedlet’s CSS variables to Global Styles values. 🌱


😷 How can the WordPress community return to hosting safe, in-person events? A discussion is underway, thanks to Angela Jin 💬


If you've been living in a communication blackout or a cave without wi-fi, you might have heard that Salesforce announced their purchase of Slack for $27.7 billion. Something I wasn't aware of is that Slack might have been ripe for the taking. Entering 2020, it had lost around 40% of its value since it went public. 😯

Although there's no impact on WordPress or the tech world in general at this time, many people in the WordPress community do use Slack. Of course, many people have opinions about this acquisition.


Eric Karkovack writes about the hidden benefits of raising your prices. Of course, “the first thought is usually of the extra cash it can bring in,” but there's a lot more that can happen too.

For starters, it might cut out problematic (or just bad) clients. There is also the potential to avoid less desirable projects. 👍


Eric Bailey offers some tips for creating an eco-friendly website: “Most of our crimes occur before the last mile, and it’s up to us as responsible designers and developers to do the hard work.” 💦

Eric suggests checking to see if a more efficient server can handle a task as opposed to a client device. You might consider building a static site (or as close as you can get to static) and not overcomplicating your JavaScript.


Chris Coyier has made an open source microsite showcasing coding fonts. ⌨️


Laura Coronado shares a WebDevStudio client success story that involved a startup, mySongbird, which aims to be “the ultimate destination for viewing live streaming musical performances.” Laura's post briefly goes through two phases of the project.

mySongbird’s services have transitioned to Maintainn, and the project is being hosted on Pagely. 🎶


Joe Casabona shows how you can use an iPhone 12 Pro Max as an overhead camera for live streams. 📱


Allie Nimmons of WP Buffs and Michelle Ames from GiveWP have built Underrepresented in Tech, a tool intended to highlight underrepresented people‘s skills and specialties first and foremost as a hiring or recruiting factor.

Explaining how this project got started, Allie said:

Michelle and I have both been outspoken advocates for diversity. I am a person of color and a member of the LGBTQ community. Michelle is disabled and older than someone you would normally see in the tech space. We have a really tight friendship, and the tool came out of just wanting better for each other and for our other friends. We got a generous sponsorship from Gravity View + Gravity Forms and built the database ourselves using their software.

We have people like Maddy Osman, Chris Lema, and Joe Howard in the database already, and it's growing every day. Adding a profile or searching the database are the main ways people can help. We take in-kind sponsorships, but at this point, getting the word out and growing the database is most important.

Underrepresented in Tech looks like it will be a valuable tool for meetup organizers, WordCamp speaker organizers, and anyone who wants to add more diversity to their event. I highly recommend you check this out and spread the word.

We wish every success to Allie and Michelle, and no doubt we'll see the site grow. 🙌


Zeeshan Haider Shaheen demonstrates how to host multiple WordPress websites on a single DigitalOcean droplet using Apache. 💧


Multidots built a WordPress plugin that enables users to easily place comments inside the WordPress Gutenberg Editor. Anil Gupta told Post Status:

“Our goal is to enrich the publishing experience for publishers in WordPress. Content collaboration in WordPress is critical for organizations where multiple people review content before publishing. The ability for inline commenting on content drafts inside Gutenberg editor saves time and makes the feedback-review process more streamlined and seamless for content publishers.”

This is certainly by the looks of it a well-polished plugin even for an initial release, and I plan on trying it out myself. On their website they note more features coming down the road: “The next release of this Google Docs-style Gutenberg block commenting plugin will be a more optimized version with far more enhanced commenting features.” 💬


I enjoyed these recent comments Travis Weston made about “clean” PHP code:

“You have to go out of your way to write clean PHP… that’s not to say it’s hard to write clean PHP, just that it requires you to take steps that you aren’t forced to take by the language.” 🧼


John Saddington interviewed Andy McIlwain, a developer in the WordPress community. Andy offers some team-building advice:

“I’m freshly in the middle manager phase of my career, just starting to build a team of my own… My top piece of advice? Embrace the flexibility that naturally comes with community management.” 💪


In case you need them, John Blackbourn has put together JSON schemas for WordPress core PHP objects and REST API responses. 👨‍💻


Andrew Rhyand has found a way to allow developers to safely access the WP_Query class from front-end JavaScript. He notes on Twitter: “Query anything you want from a single REST API endpoint!” 👏


Yoast SEO has improved its integration for Elementor with their latest 15.4 release. ✨


Is it better to load your fonts from Google Fonts or a CDN? Find out with Simon Wicki. 💨


Just for fun, Kjell Reigstad has made a WordPress plugin that can turn your images into a (rough digital approximation) of a photocopy. 🔌


WordPress folks will get a kick out of this recent CommitStrip comic. 😆


DAVID'S PICKS 📬

Video Picks

📹 Here is my video pick of the week:

Podcast Picks

🎙️ Here are a few podcasts to listen to this week: